Well, something finally gave! I noticed Mabeline was in labor just as I was about to head out for my afternoon of census work yesterday. I decided to stick around in case she needed any help. But I just got to watch and take photos.
In labor about 1:30 p.m....
Two hooves and a nose, perfect!
I keep old towels on hand to help wipe away the gunk.
This 9 lb. boy was ready to nurse even before he learned to stand!
And here comes twin sister...
Out of the wind and into the jug, both lambs prefer the right milk faucet. Sister is in the yellow.
Five hours later, all dried off and well fed... Both babies were vigorous and good size. I think the ewe lamb is a little bigger than the ram lamb.
And now, Lanora's story!
This morning I awoke to the voice of a sheep - not unusual at all, but it reminded me that Lanora is due anytime. After last year and my BFL girls not being interested in their newborns until hours later, I've been vigilantly keeping an eye on Lanora. Thankfully, Rhyn lambed while I was away. I have to admit it was a bit of a relief when I found her baby up and about, calling to his mom during the chaos of grain feeding time. And even more of a relief that she talked back to him.
So anyway, 5:45 a.m. this morning and it's not real light out yet. I check the barn cam and see Lanora in the lambing corner, but she's standing up and I can't tell if she's just eating something on the ground or what. I can't see any little eyeballs reflecting in the night vision camera. I wondered what if she lambed during the night and is just now getting interested in her baby. I'd better just run out and take a quick look. Out I go in my pajamas and robe with the muck boots and jacket thrown on.
And there in the corner is Lanora standing over a big orange lump. It's a white BFL lamb, I ran in and saw his ear twitch. Oh good, he's still alive! I cupped his head and he was definitely alive, just a little tuckered out. And Lanora was right there, talking to him. Yes! I ran into the house for a towel to help wipe him off. I also mixed up a little supplement, just in case he was weak, and put it in a bottle for him.
He was not weak at all, just exhausted. The BFL lambs sometimes just lay around recouperating after birth. He didn't want the supplement, he was determined to find the real thing. Lanora is a little protective of her bag, so I'll keep an eye on them until I make sure he's nursing well. With the large size BFL lambs, they have more reserves to fall back on so immediate nursing isn't as critical as it is with smaller Shetland lambs.
I clipped and dipped his navel, but I haven't weighed him yet. When Stan comes home for lunch we'll see if we can weigh him and make sure he's nursing okay.
Just one more ewe to go with BFL-sired lambs. That's Mabeline's 2007 daughter, Delia. I was hoping for some spotted lambs again this year from Mabeline, but didn't get them. Maybe Delia will come through with some for me. :-)
Next week the purebred Shetland lambs out of Kimberwood Harrison should start arriving!